Our Team


Rutger Bruining

Founder and CEO

Rutger graduated with a degree in Business Economics from the University of Amsterdam and in 2004 started working as a strategy consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton. Three years later he moved to New York for an MBA at Columbia University, after which he became Investment Director at Arle Capital (formerly Candover) in London. In 2013 he quit his job in private equity to focus on his love for history and stories: he founded Story Terrace. Rutger likes sports and travelling; on the top of his wish list are Australia and Uganda.

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Laura Duane

VP Sales and Operations

Laura is a New York transplant to Los Angeles, and is never going back. She has her BA in Religion from Columbia University–which is what happens when you don’t think through that whole “life after college” thing–and her MBA in Corporate Finance from NYU–which is what happens when you eventually realize you have a BA in Religion. She worked in book publishing for seven years, at a talent management firm for two, and is now very happy to be a member of the Story Terrace team.

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Giles Schippers


Marketing Expert & Creative Director with 10 years agency and client-side background plus 5 years startup and UX/product experience. I have an eye for design and connect strategic dots – build great teams, develop and launch products and brands. The first half of my career was creative and included writing for a national newspaper, radio producer, photographer and agency art director at BBDO. As I was curious about the bigger picture and strategy I did an MBA and moved into marketing roles for e.g. Getty Images and at Rem Koolhaas’ OMA. Being entrepreneurial I started developing digital products for clients and co-founded ecommerce startup SonicEditions.com.

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Ari Davine

Sales Manager

Ari began his career at United Talent Agency, where he spent 4 years in the Television Literary division. There, he interacted extensively with television writers and with studios and networks on behalf of the writers represented by the agency. He would then work in development for two television production companies, one of which was Ryan Seacrest Productions. He would again work very closely with television writers, only this time on the project development side. Outside of work, Ari enjoys spending time with his wife, Jennifer, and their baby girl, Maggie.

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Emily McCracken

Managing Editor

Emily recently relocated from Korea, where she taught English as a Second Language at Korea University and authored children’s books on and off for four years. During this period, she was able to travel to Japan, China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, with Japan claiming a soft spot in her heart. Emily has completed an MA in Publishing at University College London and an MA in English Literature at London Metropolitan University. She was born and raised in Arizona and enjoys playing guitar, drawing and learning more about words each day.

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Amanda Wilson

Project Editor

Amanda relocated to Los Angeles after working and living in Chicago and London. She earned an MA in Publishing from Kingston University in England and a BA in English, with a focus in Creative Writing, from the University of Montana. Within publishing, Amanda has worked at various agencies and publishing houses to help craft a wide range of titles, including children’s books, cookbooks, textbooks, fiction, and non-fiction. When she’s not working, Amanda enjoys exploring museums and gardens, traveling abroad, and baking.

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Robert Desmond 1

Robert Desmond

Chief Technology Officer

Using his 15 years of coding experience on a range of projects spanning front- and back-end, he is always looking for the next challenge to improve our customer experience. Robert has a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge. Following graduation he spent a couple of years at Softwire, a leading London-based software consultancy, before turning freelance. Robert enjoys cycling and travelling and is currently documenting his ride from London to Auschwitz in a Story Book.

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theo profile

Theo Brainin

Marketing Director & Product Manager

Theo’s primary responsibilities at Story Terrace include beard topiary and coffee bean adjudication. On the side, he lends a strategic and articulate perspective to Story Terrace’s digital marketing efforts, contributing a journalistic nous gained working with broadcasters including BBC Newsnight, as well as print publications. Theo holds a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and a Masters degree in Political Theory, both from Oxford University; as well as a Graduate Diploma in Law.

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